How to Implement Choice Boards in the Math Classroom

As educators, we are always looking for ways to engage our students in the learning process. One effective method that has gained popularity in recent years is the use of choice boards. Keep reading to find out how I implemented choice boards in the math classroom and the unexpected student response. Updated Jan. 2024

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Benefits of Choice Boards in the Math Classroom

A choice board is essentially a grid that offers students a range of activities that allow students to explore different concepts and skills. It might include individual options, partner activities, technology, or games. 

Related post: Student Choice in the Math Classroom

Choice boards are an effective way to differentiate instruction and allow for student choice in the math classroom. The main benefits of choice boards include:

    • Differentiation: Students can work at their own pace and level, as well as choose activities that align with their learning styles and interests. 

    • Student Engagement: Student choice is a powerful motivator. Students have a sense of ownership over their learning.

    • Personalized Learning: If you missed my post about personalized learning in the high school math classroom or are interested in learning more about personalized learning, you should definitely check it out!

    • Teachers are freed up from whole group instruction. This allows teachers to do student conferences, small group instruction, and remediation. 

Examples of Choice Boards

You can implement choice boards when learning a new topic, reviewing a topic, brain breaks, early finishers, project boards, etc. 

My first (and my favorite) choice board was a Unit Circle Trig choice board. Click the link for a copy of the template! My students also liked the Logarithm Choice Board. I tend to use choice boards when practicing fluency.

You can even try differentiating a choice board by creating three levels (advanced, regular, and support). Just make a copy of your regular board and change the activities to meet the needs of advanced or remedial learners.

You could also create separate colors for level of difficulty and have students who are ready for a challenge to complete at least one activity in the “stretch” color to stretch their thinking.

Click HERE to download different choice board templates.

How to Implement Choice Boards

If you like the idea of using choice boards in your classroom, there are a few key points to keep in mind. 

  1. Define Learning Objectives: Clearly outline the learning objectives or skills that the choice board will cover. I like to keep it limited and make sure they are all covered in each activity. My favorite uses for choice boards is fluency standards such as factoring, evaluating logarithms, unit circle trig, etc.
  2. Create a Variety of Tasks: Develop a range of tasks that address different learning styles and levels of complexity. If you are looking for fun and engaging resources, check out my online binder of math resources
  3. Provide Clear Instructions: Ensure each task on the choice board comes with clear instructions and expectations. I require my students to have me initial their papers immediately after they complete an activity.
  4. Establish Accountability: Determine how students will demonstrate his or her understanding or mastery of the learning objectives or skills.

Free Resources for Math Choice Boards

There are so many free resources to use for choice boards. You do not have to spend hours or money putting activities together. Several websites offer a paid version, but the free version will get the job done for a choice board activity.  I will share all of my favorite go-to websites to find both paper and online activities for FREE! 

One thing I want to stress when selecting activities is to consider all learners. Be sure to have a combination of paper and online resources along with writing, art, and/or video assignments.

  • Puzzle/Self-checking Worksheets: Pizzazz worksheets and FREE resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.
  • Delta Math: If you haven’t tried Delta math, give it a try!
  • Quizizz: There are so many activities already made that you can share immediately. 
  • Desmos: Do a Google search for content keywords rather than searching on Desmos. You’ll find more activities that way. You can also join social media groups for Desmos Educators.
  • Flip (formerly FlipGrid): This free resource allows your students to upload a video response to your topic.
  • EdPuzzle: Find a video for your students to watch. You can also incorporate questions along the way.
Do you need help finding more resources for choice boards? Check out my Online Binder of Favorite Math Resources! Save the link because it will update as I add to it!

Unexpected Student Responses

Y’all! I work hard to put choice boards together and my students absolutely love them. Everyone is engaged and working hard. It really made me laugh because if I assigned a Delta Math assignment I would have a few students off task. However, because they got to choose their activities (and most chose the Delta math) they worked harder than if they did not have a choice!

My co-workers are always amazed at student engagement when students feel like they have ownership over their learning!

Choice boards are a valuable tool for differentiating instruction and providing students with a sense of ownership over their learning. If you have tried choice boards in your classroom, let me know in the comments how it went.

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